Mat Follas of the Bramble Cafe & Deli in Poundbury shares this versatile quiche recipe with us.

We’ve recently moved from our lovely small restaurant at The Casterbridge Hotel in Dorchester, to a beautiful building in Poundbury’s Buttermarket.

We have been operating a day-time cafe and deli there since March and are now also open on Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner.

During the day you might see me there baking cakes or helping out, but in the evenings it’s just me, cooking simple, classic dishes for guests to enjoy in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

One of my favourite dishes on the menu at Bramble are these wonderful shallot and fennel quiches.

They are sweet and aromatic, delicious hot, straight from the oven, or cold in a picnic with a glass of cider or Chardonnay.

Shallot & fennel quiches

Requires 4 x 15cm round fluted tart tins

Serves 4

Prepare: 45 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

  • 2 banana shallots, halved lengthways
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced into 5mm pieces
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 egg white, whisked, to glaze
  • Vegetable oil, to drizzle
  • Table salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season


  • 150ml double cream
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Drizzle the shallot halves and fennel with vegetable oil and a pinch of table salt.

Place the shallots and fennel on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the heat on.

To make the pastry, freeze the butter for a couple of hours, then grate with a cheese grater. Mix the butter, egg, flour and salt in a bowl using a fork, until it’s the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Squeeze the mixture together to form a ball of dough, wrap it in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a cool, floured surface, to a thickness of about 3mm. Use a sharp knife to cut our rounds that are slightly larger than the tart tins and press gently into each tin. Prick the bases with a fork and bake in the still warm oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and glaze with the whisked egg white and sprinkle with a pinch of table salt. Place back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Keep the heat on.

Place a shallot half in each tart and a tablespoon each of the roasted fennel.

To make the custard, whisk all the ingredients together and pour into the tart bases until they are nearly full.

Bake the tarts in the still-warm oven for 15-20 minutes until the custard is set. Remove and either serve immediately with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper, or cool and keep in the fridge to eat them cold with a salad.